‘Warrior Jesus’ set an example that US military leaders should follow

‘Warrior Jesus’ set an example that US military leaders should follow February 17, 2020
Image via YouTube

THAT’S the view of Mike Berry, above, of the First Liberty Institute, who has intervened in a row concerning a 12-week seminar called ‘Lead Like Jesus’ at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island. 

Last month a flyer promoting the seminar – sent out by Cmdr Richard Clay Smothers, chaplain at the station – caused widespread anger and sparked a demand by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to investigate the ad and punish those who sent it.

Berry is now claiming that the MRFF is unfairly targeting the chaplain – and that that it’s perfectly legal to study Jesus’s leadership.

In fact, some of our military leaders would do well to study Jesus’ leadership a bit more. None other than our first commander in chief, George Washington, looked to Jesus as a model of leadership.

But retired Air Force Brigadier General Marty France — a MRFF board member — sees things quite differently. Last month he fired off an email to the base commander, Capt. Ian L Johnson, urging him to:

Move quickly on this blatant violation of the Constitution (that we both swore to uphold) as well as DoD regulations.

France asked Johnson if he would be comfortable with a subordinate who publicly called on commanders to “Lead like Mohammed” or pitched a pro-atheist message on how to lead others.

Please, swiftly and effectively put an end to this Constitutional mess and make sure that, as I’m sure you agree, there is no single religious perspective that is considered a necessary or sufficient condition for leadership in your or any command.

Sent to leaders of the tenant commands at the Rhode Island base, the flyer featured an image of Christ on a stallion, sword drawn, leading a host of white robed angels at full gallop across the clouds.

MRFF founder Michael L “Mikey” Weinstein told Navy Times Smothers appears to have “weaponised Christianity” in his message and called for those behind the outreach to be:

Visibly and aggressively investigated and punished. Nothing could be more disruptive to good order and discipline and unit cohesion than a message like this.

Weinstein claimed that more than 40 military members had reached out to his foundation to complain about the chaplain’s message. The majority were Christians, Weinstein added.

Had Smothers sent the message to members of his own flock, and not an entire command staff of diverse faiths, it wouldn’t have violated constitutional protections or Pentagon and Navy regulations.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jesus? The same Jesus who supposedly healed a Roman soldier’s ear after one of his sidekicks cut it off? The same Jesus who surrendered to Roman soldiers instead of fighting his way out with his supporters? Doesn’t exactly sound like someone US soldiers should be emulating.

  • Jim Jones

    Because poorly written Greek myths are the best guide for a military backed up by nuclear weapons.

  • Old Harry

    Time to defund chaplains, just like drugs are not tolerated.

    Opiu&#8203m of the Ma&#8203sses, and all …

  • Broga

    ” Cmdr Richard Clay Smothers, chaplain at the station –” The USA military pay their chaplains well for spreading destructive nonsense on the basis of the wisdom of a non existent god. He doesn’t seem like the kind of Commander you would want fighting with you on the front line of a war zone. What does he command? Does preaching religious fictions and lying that they are facts count as a command?

  • Tawreos

    Cmdr Richard Clay Smothers, chaplain at the station

    For some reason I keep wanting to add a “the” in there, turning it into a weird Clue answer.

    Cmdr Richard Clay, smothers the chaplain, at the station.

  • Norman Parron

    Lead like jesus…turn the other cheek….if someone takes your gun give him your tank, or something like that….if someone asks for your boat, give the entire ship! Yes jesus has great leadership examples.

  • johnsoncatman

    a demand by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MMFF) to investigate the ad

    Berry is now claiming that the MMFF is unfairly targeting the chaplain

    But retired Air Force Brigadier General Marty France — a MMRF board member

    MMRF founder Michael L “Mikey” Weinstein told Navy Times

    I think you have been reading too many of the letters that Mikey Weinstein gets from people who hate the MRFF and never seem to get the abbreviation correct. ;-p (Unless, of course, you were trolling us!)

  • Barry Duke

    Damn. My bad. Been plagued by an eye infection all week and my typing gone to hell in a handbasket. Corrected now.

  • KEB

    “Christ on a stallion. . . ” Really? Why isn’t it enough to just say, “Christ on a horse”? Yes, the entire thing is wrong on so many levels, but confabulation does not make your case stronger; it just shows that you’re willing to use imprecise words to try to influence readers. That horse could just as easily be a mare, or even a gelding. The word “horse” is enough. Period. (Your implicit sexism isn’t lost on the equestrians in your readership.) The intentions and actions of the Commander are bad enough in their own right. No enhancement is needed.

  • Broga

    Another problem is that they will increase the number of unemployed. They could do another job – I can’t think of anything right now but they are so unused to work and any kind of work discipline that they would be in zero demand. Could they be one of the exploited interns and work for free.

  • Jim Baerg

    ” George Washington, looked to Jesus as a model of leadership.”
    citation needed
    If you cite David Barton then I will *know* it’s BS

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Well, technically, prophesy does say that the messiah would ride in on an white colt (John 12:14-15). Colts are male foals (fillies are females) which would grow up to be stallions, unless they were gelded. But it was the colt of a donkey — a far cry from a horse.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Oh yeah, the Military should all be JUST like jeebus. ‘Turn the other cheek’ ‘If your one eye offends you pluck it out’ ‘Love your neighbors, even the ones who are your historical enemies’

    THAT Jesus?

  • Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  • Freethinker
  • kaydenpat

    So Berry will be okay when an Imam sends out flyers to the Pentagon with a warrior Mohammed, right? Or a Hindu sends out flyers with a warrior Vishnu?

    Berry and his ilk feel entitled to push their religious beliefs on public institutions because they have bought into the lie that this is a Christian country.

  • Eric Schmitz

    (sorry, replied under wrong comment)

  • Eric Schmitz

    “What, rode on a horse?? You’re using coconuts!!”

  • Freethinker

    Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

  • If this was Biblical, Jesus should have been drawn having the sword coming out from His mouth (see Revelation)

  • Vanity Unfair
  • Freethinker

    The irony here is that this is no doubt from a crazy conservative church…too ignorant to realize that they are advertising a savior using an image of….Che Guevara who was an avowed Marxist and Atheist who is worshiped as a saint of revolutions in Cuba and most other parts of central and south America.
    This is an actual quote from Che:
    “In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm…

  • watchemoket

    “It’s just a flesh wound …” lol

  • Pam

    MMFF is the sound the poor, persecuted Christians make when secularism is shoved down their throats. What a world, what a world. 🙂

  • TheBookOfDavid

    It does lay bare the conflict of interest between the Great Commission and their oath of office to protect and defend the US Constitution. Military doctrine adopts the concept of “unity of command”, so that all parties involved can find out exactly where the buck stops. Even Jesus acknowledges that “No one can serve two masters”.

  • TheBookOfDavid
  • Old Harry

    Time for Fathead to Lead By Example.

    Plenty of deployed units for him to serve in.

  • kenthefitter

    Military chaplains do not have a ‘flock’. They are required to serve the religious needs of ALL service members, IF required, no matter what religion it is.

  • vmelkon

    I love Jesus cartoons.

  • vmelkon

    You mean this?

    Revelation 19:13
    “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.”

  • That as well as Revelation 1:16. It is said that in the Left Behind they changed the sword to a laser, as if Jesus was Godzilla or a gold dragon from the Slayers anime.

  • vmelkon

    Those primitive people have never heard of physics or lasers. If you look into mormonism, you’ll see that Joseph talks about planets bc europeans knew what planets were at that point in time. No lasers, no holograms, no computers, no teleportation, no force fields.

    I did a text search for “sword”. There are a few more lines.

    Revelation 2:12
    And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

    Revelation 2:16
    Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

    The word sword an swords appears 459 times in the bible. Revelation 19:21 is the last line that contains that word.